"... and I tell you, Bear Creek Valley some day will be filled with great buildings and factories and they will help toward winning the greatest war that ever will be... And there will be a city on Black Oak Ridge. The center of authority will be on a spot which is middleway between Sevier Tadlock's farm and Joe Pyatt's place... A railroad spur will branch off the main L & N line and run down towards Robertsville and then it will branch off and turn toward Scarboro. It will serve the great city I saw in my vision... Big engines will dig big ditches and thousands of people will be running to and fro. They will be building things and there will be great noise and confusion and the earth will shake... I've seen it coming."

It was thus that John Hendrix, an eccentric prophet of rural East Tennessee, a man who died in 1915, laid out the vision he had seen of what would become of that quiet area along Black Oak Ridge.

The city of Oak Ridge is nestled in a valley between the Cumberland Plateau and the Great Smoky Mountains, about 25 miles west of Knoxville, in East Tennessee. Also known as the Secret City, Atomic City, or City Behind the Fence, Oak Ridge was created by the US government in 1942 as part of the Manhattan Project, which was the program that led to the development of the first atomic bomb that ended the Pacific theater of World War II. During the war, the city was surrounded by fences, and entrance at one of the seven security gates was not allowed unless you had a pass. The city did not exist on any maps until after the war, and the gates were not open to the public until 1949.